KENNY HARRISON of Pownal poses after winning the Super Streets feature at Wiscasset Speedway on Saturday.

KENNY HARRISON of Pownal poses after winning the Super Streets feature at Wiscasset Speedway on Saturday.

WISCASSET

The Northeastern Midget Association (NEMA) is the nation’s oldest race club of its kind, and last weekend, the association rocked the house at Wiscasset Speedway.

These cars are four cylinder, open-wheel race cars without starters or clutches. As the association states on their website, “If it is bolted into a midget, it serves one of only two purposes — safety or speed.”

To say that the NEMA Lites are impressive to watch is a colossal understatement. Like surfboards with very severe buzz cuts, these microscopic machines paraded past the grandstands in lines four-wide, like marching soldiers.

Four laps into their 25-lap spotlight feature, Bethany Stoehr stalled in the middle of turn two where Jim Cataldo made contact and sent her into a violent pirouette. Alan Chambers was also caught in the short-notice tangle, which ended the race early for all three. With the course under a red flag, the track and safety crews reacted quickly to check on drivers, move cars and clean the course.

When the action came back with 21 laps remaining, Danny Cugini held a slight lead but was soon dominated for first by PJ Stergios. Jim Chambers rounded out the leader pack in the third position. At speeds close to 97 miles-per-hour, the spotlight race ended as fast as it had begun, with the beginning leaders holding their positions throughout the race and across the finish line. Sporting an astounding best lap time of 13.92 seconds, Stergios took first, with Curgini taking second and Chambers third.

With no gear shifting and methanol pumping through their veins, the NEMA Midgets flew like the wind into their 25-lap feature race. Within minutes, the two pack leaders – Todd Bertrand and John Zych — were barreling around the track at over 102 mph. Spectators throughout the grandstands risked whiplash to keep eyes on their favorite drivers until the very end — which in total took less than 10 minutes. Bertrand took first, with Zych in second after achieving the best lap time of the race at 13.189 seconds. Randy Cabral rounded out the leaders group in victory lane for third place.

The Thunder 4 Minis were tired of tires through two cautions for their 20-lap feature where drivers kept cutting corners, knocking the corner tires on to the field like ping pong balls. When the field finally made it past the first lap, Michael Golding ruled the roost by more than a few car lengths, with Jeff Davis not far behind. With the division’s current points leader, Michael Harrison, still trapped in fifth at the halfway point behind Tristan Shea and Joe Katula, Golding and Davis had a golden opportunity to even up the competition for the division championship. When only two laps remained, lap traffic caused a serious ruckus that sent several cars, including Katula and Spencer Sweatt, hard into the wall at the top of turn one. Melcher dropped from fourth to the back of the pack for the restart, while Sweatt was towed and Katula was pitted for bumping under caution.

Despite the regroup, Harrison ran out of time to advance beyond third place before the checkered flag few. In his season-best finish, Davis placed second and Golding took home his third win for the year.

While Zac Poland started out the Super Streets 25-lap feature strong, Kenny Harrison was soon running away with first. Current points leader, Mark Lucas, held a close second for the majority of the race, determined not to let a hood-crushing collision during the heat race keep him out of the fun. Josh Bailey was keeping a close eye on Lucas from nail-biting distances away in third. Ultimately his cat and mouse pursuit was not enough to close the gap, and Bailey finished in third, with Lucas in second and Harrison claiming his first win of the season.

The 40-lap Prostock feature race started out with a bang when the No. 23, driven by Brandon Sprague, drifted and was plowed into the infield by Chris Ryan. Division leader, Andy Saunders, made the lead look effortless as he glided gracefully with a full straightaway between his car and the pack. Mike Moody diligently held second, with Scott Chubbuck in third. At the halfway point, several cars locked in traffic together and spun at the beginning of turn four, which caused the field to scatter. After a caution that left Ajay Picard face-first into the front wall, Saunders again glided ahead in first, with Chubbuck in a close second, as Moody fought Kevin Morse to hold third.

With 10 laps to go, the track was again put under caution when a battle waged between Morse and Charlie Colby sent both cars careening into the infield. Back in the action, Chubbuck brought the heat so strong and so close, it must have burnt Saunders tail feathers. The leader found some relief when Tim Turner collided with the back wall — his entire hood crumpled like a tin can on impact. At the race’s close, Saunders was able to defend his claim on first from Chubbuck, who took home second, with Moody placed third.

The New England 4-Cylinder Prostocks were the final division to compete, with 13 drivers from every skill level on the field. Brooke Knowles took the lead of the 25-lap feature for the first lap until she lost control of her car and crossed over the track through traffic. Knowles ended up over the back ridge of the track and took Cam Corbin with her, after T-boning his car in an unavoidable, unintentional direct hit. On the restart, RJ Pinkham, who has been a three-time runner-up this season, took the lead, followed by Spencer Vaughn. After Jamie Wright passed Vaughn for second, the yellow flag dropped with six laps to go when Wright spun Pinkham, which sent both pack leaders to the back. When the race dust settled, Jeff Prindall achieved his third win of the season, followed in second by Kamren Knowles — the unofficial division champion for what will be the third year in a row. Third place went to Conner Wenners.

Clear your schedules this upcoming Saturday at 6 p.m. when fans will also be wowed by the drivers of Group Two, including the Wood Pellet Warehouse Late Model Sportsmen, Strictly Streets, Kennebec Equipment Rental Outlaw Minis, NAPA Modifieds and NELCAR Legends. Kids 6-and-under enter for free and admission for everyone else is only $5.


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